As the economy is starting to show green spots, people are starting to change jobs. How happy are your employees? And, how can you be sure? These are two questions that all business owners should be asking, particularly now.
Since many businesses over the past couple of years have imposed wage freezes, salary cuts, and expected employees to shoulder more responsibility, it's not surprising that some employees are feeling dissatisfied.
One way to find out what's on employees' minds is to conduct an anonymous survey. We do it every year at Insight Performance, and it helps us keep in touch with employee concerns. Also, I try to make sure to speak with all team members on an ongoing basis to find out not only how they feel about their jobs, but also where they want to go, what challenges they want to undertake, and how the management team can help them achieve these goals.
While small businesses operating under tighter margins have to watch their budgets closely, there are many ways to increase employee satisfaction. Often the very simple things can be the most powerful. It's amazing how a simple 'thank you' and acknowledgement of an employee's contributions go a long way.
Everyone wants to feel valued and respected. Organizations that promote those values day in and day out create happier workplaces. We all have to walk the talk when it comes to establishing an open door policy and open communications. We have to let employees know what's going on in good times as well as bad, and ask for – and truly listen to – their input.
NANCY MOBLEY is founder and CEO of Insight Performance, a human resource consulting firm focused on emerging and mid-market companies. Clients include biotech, medical device, manufacturing, banks and technology companies. @InsightPerf